Open letter from the Public Health Agency to immunosuppressed people regarding their spring booster


This year’s COVID-19 spring booster is being offered to individuals aged five years and over with a weakened immune system (immunosuppressed).

The Public Health Agency (PHA) would therefore like to take this opportunity to encourage those people to take up the offer to prolong protection already received from initial COVID-19 vaccinations, ahead of any potential wave of the virus over the summer months.

Immunosuppressed individuals include, but are not limited to, those undergoing cancer treatments leading to immunosuppression, solid organ transplant recipients, bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients and those with HIV infection at all stages.

These individuals may experience a more severe health impact if they catch COVID-19, but vaccination will help reduce this risk.

The vaccination programme here has been a huge success, with over four million doses delivered in Northern Ireland across the programme so far. It has saved lives, allowed us to live with COVID-19 and eased pressure on our health service. However, the virus hasn’t gone away, and could potentially result in a real health threat, particularly for vulnerable members of our community. Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases as they teach our immune system how to recognise and fight viruses.

Taking up the offer of the spring booster will reduce the chances of those at greatest risk becoming severely unwell from COVID-19 this spring and summer.

Vaccine programme arrangements

Those eligible may have already have been offered an appointment, if not you should be offered an appointment before end of June. You will be invited to have your booster around six months from your last dose but you can have it from three months.

Invitation from your GP

Your GP practice will invite you for a spring booster if you are:

  • aged 75 and over (born before 31 March 1948);
  • aged 18 to 74 who are immunosuppressed.

For those aged five to 18 your GP will identify you and you will receive your vaccination in a Trust clinic.

If you are housebound, you should contact your GP and they will arrange a visit from a district nurse.

Community pharmacy

You can get your spring booster at a participating community pharmacy if you are:

  • aged 75 and over (born before 31 March 1948);
  • aged 18 to 74 and are immunosuppressed;
  • a resident in a care home/

HSC Trusts

Trusts will vaccinate all those who are aged five to 18 and immunosuppressed.

Further information on these locations is available on the Trusts’ websites.

Immunosuppressed eligibility

The spring booster will be offered to individuals aged five years and over with a weakened immune system (immunosuppressed), as defined in tables three and four in the COVID-19 chapter of the Green Book.

For further information on the spring booster see or